The Sacramento Philharmonic will end a yearlong absence from presenting concerts when it performs two April 10 children’s concerts at the Community Center Theater.
The concert culminates a yearlong partnership with a Carnegie Hall program that brings music education to elementary-school children, including 23 schools in the Sacramento region.
It is the first time the Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance, the umbrella organization that oversees the Philharmonic and Sacramento Opera, has offered any performances in the 2014-15 season. Both organizations have struggled financially since the economic downturn in 2008. Last year, the SRPAA was forced to cancel its 2014-15 season.
“We’re excited to get back to work,” said Larry Gardner, president of American Federation of Musicians Local 12, which represents the orchestra members. “Here, you’ve gone from no momentum to something. That’s good for us, and it’s good for the community.”
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Sacramento Philharmonic musicians typically perform with other regional orchestras even when the orchestra presents a full season. This year, musicians were forced to seek more of that work because of the regular season’s cancellation. The last time the orchestra performed as the Sacramento Philharmonic was April 5, 2014.
Gardner said an agreement was reached with the SRPAA in December for orchestral work next season that will include six concerts and not involve pay cuts.
The orchestra’s collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute – called Link Up – involves 23 partner schools throughout the Sacramento region. Participants are typically third- to fifth-graders who are introduced to orchestral music and are taught music on recorder or violin, or through voice lessons.
The two April 10 concerts will have students perform from their seats along with the orchestra, which will be conducted by Sacramento Philharmonic principal bassist Thomas Derthick.
The students will follow the music from visuals projected on a screen above the stage. More than 3,600 students and teachers are expected to participate.
Those participating in the program include the Twin Rivers, Sacramento City Unified and San Juan school districts.
“It’s a nice statement about the future of the orchestra that the first people that are going to perform are schoolchildren,” said Paul Hogle, the lead consultant hired by the philharmonic to help the orchestra find a sustainable operating plan.
The Link Up program grew out of the Weill Music Institute’s work with New York City schools, which began in 1985. About 100 national and international organizations now participate.
In Sacramento, the philharmonic recruits partner schools, raises funds to provide student instruments and produces the final concert.
“Our future is brighter with audiences of students experiencing live music,” Hogle said.
The Link Up concert announcement is the first since the SRPAA announced in February that Alice Sauro, a former Detroit Symphony orchestra manager, had been chosen as interim executive director.
Hogle said there will be more concerts this spring.
“We’ll announce the new season by the end of April,” he said, when patrons will be able to buy ticket packages for the 2015-16 season.
There will be no opera presented next season, Hogle said.
Call The Bee’s Edward Ortiz, (916) 321-1071. Follow him on Twitter @edwardortiz.
‘The Orchestra Sings’
WHAT: Sacramento Philharmonic musicians perform with guest vocalist soprano Carrie Hennessey and Sacramento-area elementary school students, part of its Link Up program sponsored by Carnegie Hall.
WHEN: April 10 at 10:15 and 11:35 a.m.
WHERE: Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento
INFORMATION: www.2intune.org; (916) 808-2000